Today, Oct. 1, 2010 marks the release of the movie, “The Social Network.” The story about the development of Facebook. Facebook has been recently estimated to be worth $22 billion dollars. Mike Morwitz, a venture capitalist said, “the product (Facebook) helps solve a real problem for many people in a simple, elegant way.” Mark Zuckerberg created the social networking platform that changed the way the millions of people communicates.
As with any company, Facebook has interesting twists and turns during the creation phase and the building out phase of their product. Knowing a little bit about some of the other key players in this company can help you appreciate the evolution of a social network.
Eduardo Saverin, a 26 year old born in Brazil, is a graduate of Harvard holding a degree in economics. He assumed the role of Mark’s business manager at first, however his role in the company diminished when Sean Parker was able to acquire venture capital form Peter Thiel.
He was the person behind the development of the movie, “The Social Network.” At the urging of a friend, Will McMullen, Eduardo eventually disclosed behind the scenes information to Ben Mezrich who later published a book called, “The Accidental Billionaires.”
Eduardo Saverin won a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg which allowed his name to be listed as the co-founder of Facebook. He owns a 5% share worth $1.1 billion dollars. Part of the settlement agreement stipulates that he does not discuss this situation any further. Eight days younger than Zuckerberg, he is the newest member of the Forbes 400 Richest People In America List.
Another key player is Sean Parker. Sean’s childhood brings to light how he became involved with Mark Zuckerberg.
Sean’s father, a U.S. government oceanographer, began teaching him programming at age seven. When he was just 16 years old he was successfully hacking into various networks, some included the military and large national foundations. His obsession with computers led him to spend odd hours working through the night and basically having a hard time completing school work.
One night his father got angry with him because of his poor performance and grabbed the computer keyboard away from him. Although he told his father he hadn’t logged out of the program he was working on, his father ignored his pleas. He knew that his activities would be discovered.
The next day, his father pulled him out of school for a so called “orthodontics” appointment. Uncomfortable with the “orthodontics” appointment excuse, since he had no orthodontics, he anticipated his consequences. When he arrived home, the FBI was there waiting to interrogate him.
He was given community service for his punishment and for obvious reasons, barely graduated from high school.
At age 19, he invented the popular music sharing program, Napster.
In 2004, he emailed Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook and soon after they became partners. Mark Zuckerberg said, “few people are as smart as he is.” Once the President of Facebook, Sean was asked to step down because of his involvement with cocaine.
David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World, says “He is one of the great serial entrepreneurs of his generation.”
“The Social Network,” opens today and should prove to be interesting for many social media fans and entrepreneurs.
Owners of Facebook:
Mark Zuckerburg – 25%
Accel Partners – 10%
Digital Sky Technologies – 10%
Dustin Moskovitz – 6%
Eduardo Saverin – 5%
Sean Parker -4%
Peter Thiel – 3%
Greylock Partners – 1.5%
Merich Capital Ventures – 1.5%
Microsoft – 1.3%
Li Ka-Shing – .75%
Interpublic Group – .5%
Five early employees – less than 1%
Mark Pincus & Reid Hoffman – undisclosed
Western Technology Investments – undisclosed